The number of holiday lets has doubled in Brighton and Hove in five years and has helped fuel higher rents and more noise complaints, according to a new report.
The report, to members of Brighton and Hove City Council, said that 3,340 local properties and 1,568 rooms were listed on the Airbnb website last month.
In August 2016, there were 1,307 properties listed and 919 rooms, according to the report to the council’s Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee.
In 2018, the Brighton and Hove Visitor Accommodation Study found 2,359 properties on short-term holiday let websites. Of these, 1,254 were on Airbnb, with the second largest number, 403 on TripAdvisor.
The report also contains the council’s draft response to a government consultation on a proposed “tourist accommodation scheme” to tackle problems caused by the holiday lets boom.
The council said that the effect of short-term holiday lets on the local housing market was a “major problem”.
The sheer number of homes and rooms given over to holiday lets appears to have reduced the number of homes available for long-term rent.
It is “stifling” the supply of rented housing while pushing up prices for renters in a city where there are about 37,500 privately rented homes.
The report said: “Housing demand and rising private sector rents have an adverse effect on the affordability of housing in the city.
“The lack of affordable housing supply has an economic impact on our ability to retain lower-income working households and employment in the city across all sectors.
“With less available stock and the same (or increasing) numbers trying to access this, this will result in higher market rents being charged. We continue to see an increase in advertised rents across most sized properties.”
Data from the Valuation Office Agency and the Office for National Statistics indicate that average rental prices per calendar month are “consistently higher” in Brighton and Hove than in other parts of the south east and England.
The averages are
- Room – £516
- Studio – £715
- One-bedroom home – £930
- Two-bedroom home – £1,259
- Three-bedroom home – £1,541
- Four-bedroom home – £2,235
Noise complaints from holiday lets have increased from 13 in 2018 to 54 last year, with a peak of 80 in 2020.
This year, the council has received 16 complaints and is introducing a central contact for residents to raise concerns about holiday lets.
Councillors are being asked to back sending a response to the government consultation to provide evidence to ministers as they consider a national registration scheme for short-term letting.
In June 2021, the biggest short-term let company, Airbnb, published a white paper calling on the government to create a registration scheme.
The council’s Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee is due to meet at Brighton Town Hall on Thursday (15 September). The meeting is scheduled to be webcast on the council’s website.
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